Warren Easton serves notice with big win over Jesuit
Since renewing their rivalry three years ago for the first time since 2004, Warren Easton and Jesuit have played very close, competitive games. In 2015, Warren Easton won 25-21. In 2016, Jesuit won 13-6.
For one half Friday night, it looked like more of the same in the series which began in 1913. Then came the second half and the Eagles had different ideas as they distanced themselves from their neighborhood brethren.
Junior quarterback Lance Legendre dazzled, accounting for five touchdowns and the Easton defense clamped down on the Jesuit offense in a 40-14 victory at Tad Gormley Stadium. It was a statement win for Warren Easton, which made it to the Class 4A final in 2014 and reached the semifinals a year ago. Clearly, the Eagles are a threat to win it all in 2017, if not the favorite under second year head coach Jerry Phillips.
Legendre completed 14-of-24 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns of 27 and four yards in a brilliant performance. Damien Tate caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and ran one yard for a score. Kiaeem Green and Yo’Heinz Tyler were on the end of the other two touchdown passes from Legendre. The Eagles held Jesuit to just 150 total yards in a superb defensive performance.
Speaking on The Three Tailgaters Show on WGSO, 990 AM Saturday morning, Phillips beamed about his junior quarterback.
“Lance has finally turned that corner,” Phillips said. “He had to do some maturing and some growing up. I think he’s really ready to step in that role of being a leader and outstanding player, to realize his potential,” Phillips said. “The sky is the limit for him.”
Phillips was even more proud of his defense.
“Championships have to be won on defense,” Phillips said. “Everyone loves scoring and we can score. I’m a defensive guy and a defensive coach. Our defense did a phenomenal job last night and we have to continue that moving forward.”
Jesuit actually led 7-6 deep into the first half before Easton turned the tide, scoring on a 27-yard run by Legendre in the final minute of the first half to take a 14-7 lead and the Eagles then took over in the second half.
“We started slow on offense but it was a testament to our guys’ toughness that they were able to overcome adversity and really turn it on in the second half,” Phillips said. “That is the sign of a good team, especially facing a solid coach in Mark Songy and a solid Jesuit team.”
The only negatives for Easton were penalties, as the Eagles incurred 13 infractions for 118 yards and four failed extra point attempts, including a pair of kicks and pair of attempts for two points.
Jesuit scored on an 11-yard pass from Alex Watermeier to Willie Robinson and a two-yard run by Michael Torry. Jesuit head coach Mark Songy, who guided the Blue Jays to the Division I state championship in 2014, sees big things for the Eagles.
“Easton was exactly who we thought they would be, an extremely talented team that has matured,” Songy said. “They were young last year and ended their season one step from the championship game. I expect they will make a very deep run with a chance to win it all this year.”
Each team had a turnover.
“We were young last year with a lot of sophomore and juniors who had not played that much,” Phillips said. “We took a lot of lumps early in the season, losing our first two games. Those guys decided to get tough. They are tired of hearing about the 2014 team with Tyron Johnson and Deshawn Capers-Smith. They want to make their mark.”
Easton will battle another Catholic League squad in Brother Martin next Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium in a game you can watch at CrescentCitySports.com and listen to on WGSO, 990 AM and at www.wgso.com. Jesuit travels to Covington to battle St. Paul’s next Friday night at 7 p.m. at Hunter Stadium.
“We’ll watch Brother Martin today against Petal, MS,” Phillips said. “We’re expecting a tough, disciplined team that is sound at what they do. We have to remain sound and not have breakdowns. If we do that and play well, we will be fine. We have to continue to progress. We know that will be another test for us.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…